Introduction: How to Lattice a Perfect Pie

About: Building design/consulting in Vancouver, WA. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to look in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyday... i have to …

Here in Minnesota we've just moved through berry season. It was my girlfriend Jess's first year really getting into pie making. She had always been put off by the difficult of managing a juicy filling. In this recent instructable, how to bake a perfect pie, you'll find tips and tricks for managing moisture (showing a crumb topping).

From crumb topping to lattice. In this instructable we walk through how to manage dough and make a perfect lattice.

Step 1: Crust

Pasted below are notes from how to bake a perfect pie. Simple change here for lattice... you'll want to double the recipe for the crust.

Recipe's for crusts are pretty similar.... fat, flour, salt, ice water
  • Mixing - The goal here is to keep all the ingredients cold before switching to hot. That's why a pastry blender comes in handy for mixing ingredients and keeping body heat from raising the temp of dough. First combine all ingredients except the water. Once they form pea size clumps add water to fold into a dough. Optional to refrigerate for an hour or freeze for 15min (better if you do but not necessary).
  • Rolling Out + Forming - Roll out the dough about 1/4" thick and to a few inches larger than your pie pan. (assuming a 9" pie pan). Use a fork to lightly poke into the based of the crust. Press about halfway into the dough. Also an option is using the folk on the edge of the crust to make for a crispier bake.
  • Refrigeration - Allow for an hour in the fridge or 15 min in the freezer.
  • Par-Bake - Bake for 20min at 400 deg (205C) with a piece of foil wrapping the crust. Coat a piece of foil with cooking spray and wrap. (if you're ready to switch to bulk aluminum foil)
  • The Filling + The Topping + The Bake - Next Three Steps
Recipe calls for 2c. Flour, 1tsp Salt, 2/3c. Cold Unsalted Butter (or lard), 5 tbsp. ice water

Doubled Recipe :

  • Flour - 4 cups
  • Salt - 2 tsp
  • Butter - 1 + 1/3 cups ---butter (or lard) should be cold and unsalted... when using salted reduce salt in half
  • Ice Water - 10 tbsp. ---it should be cold but don't stress here

Easy to have walmart pull all the ingredients with the new grocery's a link to $10 off.

Step 2: Building the Lattice

With topping in place it's time to build the upper crust!

The lattice looks intimidating and can be tricky with a crumbly dough. It takes some patience but is easy to maneuver when each strip is lifted and placed around each other piece.

  1. Roll Dough - helpful to use plastic wrap to keep dough from clinging. also makes it easy to chill between steps
  2. Cut Strips - cut just as many as you can manage onto the pie at a time.
  3. Layer - either start from a corner or start from the center. the preference in our house is to start on the center line with the longest strips. from there move to the edges and weave each piece of dough
  4. Edging - use a fork or pinching method to form an edge that will crisp up when baked

Step 3: Egg Wash

Worth adding an egg wash for a lattice bake.

  1. Egg - (1) white (or whole egg)
  2. Water - just a splash
  3. Whisk - mix so the membrane is incorporated
  4. Brush - using a silicone brush ---my preference is for all silicone design so there are no seams to clean
  5. Sugar - optional... sprinkle sugar on top

Step 4: Thank You!

Hope you found this useful and find less hurdles in making your lattice topped pie!
For a more complete look a pie making see this earlier instructable, how to bake a perfect pie.

Thanks for reading!!

Here are a few other recent baking instructables:

  • Homemade Buns - a quick roll recipe using leftover sweetened condensed milk
  • Bread Pudding - a variation on paul prudhomme's classic recipe

Chef Paul is my favorite. Having lived in New Orleans I love his approach to cooking/instruction.
Check out our top three cookbooks here.